Istanbul’s fishermen eagerly await casting nets in new season

As Sept. 1 approaches, marking the end of the fishing ban, fishermen at Poyrazköy Fishing Port in Istanbul’s Beykoz district continue their preparations by repairing their boats and nets, hoping for an abundance of anchovies in the upcoming season.

Despite weather conditions with temperatures exceeding seasonal norms,fishermen tirelessly continue their maintenance and repairs hopeful for a new fishing season, which has been on hold since April 15.

While some fishermen are individually mending worn-out nets by hand, others are refreshing the paint on their boats and conducting maintenance on engines, lights and ropes.

Davut Toker, the president of the Poyrazköy Fishermen Cooperative and a boat owner himself, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they have engaged in intensive work prior to the season’s opening.

Toker emphasized that they will work with 25-member crews on each boat to meet the demands of the season. “We start the season with these crews, and they work with us until the end of the season. Although it’s uncertain how the sea’s plentitude will be, the real professors of the sea are the fishermen,” he explained.

Additionally, Toker noted that the cooperative has 220 registered members and also includes 17 purse seiners, 10 trawlers and numerous small boats.

He said that last year saw a lot of bonito, whereas this year, they expect an abundance of anchovies, horse mackerels and bluefish.

Toker explained that there is a notable fish potential around Poyrazköy in September and October, but the true abundance of this year will only be known after they go out to sea. He estimated that the price per kilogram of anchovies will start between TL 50 ($1.88) and TL 70 and the price may decrease according to the fish abundance.

Özcan Bayraktar, who was scraping the paint off a boat at the port, mentioned that working during hot days is exhausting.

“The tool in my hand helps me scrape off the paint. By scraping the paint, we can apply the new coat. If we don’t paint, the boat deteriorates due to rust and lack of maintenance,” he said.

His colleague, Muammer Bayraktar, a fisherman repairing nets with a shuttle needle, said they are preparing ahead of the fishing season, noting that conducting maintenance is how they pass the time.

“We deal with these tasks for four months. During the season, we are at sea every day when the weather is suitable. Anchovies seem more popular this year. Everything will become clear once we go to sea.”

Another fisherman Şaban Bostan, said, “We hope for the best. Bonito seems a bit weak in fishing, but anchovies might be abundant. We are waiting to see. We will start on Sept. 1. We will head to the Black Sea. There’s excitement. We are born and raised fishermen.”

Bostan emphasized that the most delicious fish from the sea are deep-sea fish and advised people to consume fish based on the season.


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